Nishikori, Wawrinka advance in Japan

Local hero seals straight-sets win over Querrey while Wawrinka beats Ito in three sets.

    Nishikori, Wawrinka advance in Japan
    Nshikori is bidding for his third Japan Open title [AP]

    Local favourite Kei Nishikori advanced to the quarterfinals of the Japan Open with a 7-6 (3), 6-3 victory over Sam Querrey while top-seed Stan Wawrinka also progressed with a three-set win.

    Second-seeded Nishikori set up match point with a blistering backhand down the line and won with a forehand smash, securing his third straight win in seven matches against the unseeded Querrey.

    "With the strong wind and playing against a big server like him, I needed a lot of concentration," Nishikori said.

    "After winning the tiebreak, I was able to settle down and relax more in the second set."

    The 25-year-old Nishikori, who is bidding for his third Japan Open title, has now reached the quarterfinals or better at 13 of his past 16 tournaments.

    French Open champion Wawrinka avenged last year's opening round defeat to Tatsuma Ito, by beating the 116th-ranked Japanese 6-3, 2-6, 6-4.

    "It was a tough match and after losing to him last year, I am happy to have gotten through," Wawrinka said.

    "I tried to mix up my play in the third set to move him around more. I have one day off now and will train to be ready for my next match."

    Third-seeded Gilles Simon of France also advanced to the quarterfinals with a 6-4, 6-2 win over Jiri Vesely of the Czech Republic. Simon will face Luxembourg's Gilles Muller, a 7-6 (3), 7-6 (5) winner over Jeremy Chardy of France.



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